You may not know this, but garlic is a food group at Casa Twistie. Very few things get made in my kitchen sans garlic. One of the things that told me Mr. Twistie was The One was the fact that he was willing to share garlic fondue on our first date (that and the fact that he then took me back to his place to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, making his move for our first kiss at that romantic juncture when the knight slashes the throat of the Famous Historian which made my heart go pitter-pat). Onions and members of the onion family also feature largely in my cuisine.
So a recipe that features garlic and that oft-overlooked cousin of the onion, the shallot, is always going to get my attention. One that further allows me to make use of that massive chicken I found on sale at Safeway for half price is also a good use of my time and energy. One that also allows me to use up the heavy cream and white wine I had sitting around from previous recipes is yet another great idea. This one did it all and had Mr. Twistie threatening to lick his plate clean. I was about ready to join him, too!
It comes from the Food & Wine Annual for 1997, and I’ll be making it again.
2Tblsp unsalted butter
1Tblsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil with no unfortunate repercussions)
1 4lb chicken (mine was 5lbs, but it didn’t even seem to affect cooking time very much)
salt and freshly ground pepper
2tsp dried rosemary
8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used more like ten because one of them was small and, well, vampires are not welcome in my home)
3 shallot, minced
3/4C dry white wine
1/2C heavy cream
Preheat oven to 475F. In a large enameled cast iron casserole (I used my old Magnalite casserole since my Le Creuset that matches this description wasn’t big enough to hold that chicken. Mostly what you want is a heavy, flameproof casserole) melt 1Tblsp butter in the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, add the rosemary to the cavity and tie the legs together (I didn’t bother with tying the legs). Set the chicken in the casserole on one breast. Cover and roast in the oven for 30 minute. Carefully turn the chicken on the other breast, cover, and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the bird on its back and add the garlic and shallots. Cover and roast for 20 minutes more, or until the juices when a thigh is pierced. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover and keep warm.
Skim the fat from the juices in the casserole. Add the wine and boil over high heat, stirring, until the sauce is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour in any collected chicken juices from the platter. Add the cream and boil until the sauce is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes more. Swirl in the remaining 1Tblsp butter until blended and season with salt and pepper (check first, because my sauce didn’t need any more seasoning at this point). Pour the sauce into a gravy boat and serve with the chicken.
Easy enough for everyday, delicious enough for company. This is a definite winner.